The History and Evolution of the Washing Machine

Have you ever thought about how complicated laundry would be if washing machines didn’t exist? Doing laundry is probably the number one dreaded chore for people, especially parents, all over the country, but owning a washer, or having access to one, makes it a whole lot easier. Let’s look at the fascinating history and evolution of one of our favorite appliances, the washing machine.


Stones and Washboards

Until 1797 all people had to help them wash their dirty clothes were stones. Women would use the same rocks over and over again to beat the wet garment. The process was the best they had to remove dirt and grime, but as you can imagine, it wasn’t a perfect system. The invention of the washboard made things a little more thorough, but certainly not easier.


Hand-Turned Drums

In the 1800s, large hand-turned drums, which would eventually be the precursor for modern-day washing machines, began showing up in households. Although you had to operate them by hand, you were able to wash many garments at once, instead of one at a time. This alone began to revolutionize how Americans were doing laundry. Once electric wringers were added to the machines in 1911, doing laundry became a much more manageable task.


Modern Day Washers

Once spin cycles replaced electric wringers and automatic timers controlled by microchips were standard, the washing machine became a completely self-sufficient device. Today, all you need to do is press a few buttons, and you can have freshly washed and sanitized clothes, according to your preferences, ready to go in the dryer, another modern convenience-minded machine. Washing machines come in all sorts of models, including both top-loading and front-loading, but all are made with energy efficiency in mind.


Having a problem with your washer, dryer, or any other appliance in your home? Call the experts at Express Appliance.